As You Think So You Become
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With only 66 runs in his last five innings at a strike rate of less than 100, the spotlight was on Faf du Plessis ahead of the Lucknow Super Giants clash. To compound them, his team had once again hiccuped its way to 44 for 3, the fourth time in six innings that Royal Challengers Bangalore had lost three or more wickets inside the first seven overs. Cricket Betting Tips Anuj Rawat and Virat Kohli had gotten out to successive Dushmantha Chameera deliveries, with the former RCB captain's golden duck extending his poor run in the tournament. Glenn Maxwell also departed after a promising start, and Suyash Prabhudessai followed shortly afterwards, leaving RCB at 62 for 4 in the eighth over, with du Plessis batting on 20 off 19.
The experienced batter that he is, du Plessis approached the challenge with a well-paced innings. He was quick to read the length of the spinners and was positive against both Ravi Bishnoi and Krunal Pandya. He scored four fours and a six off the wrist spinner and a four and a six off Pandya. In all, 51 of his runs came against the LSG spin pair at a strike-rate of 170 with four dot balls apiece.
During the innings break, Jason Holder revealed that there wasn't much grip for the spinners in the back end of the innings. This also spoke about how well du Plessis read the wicket and took advantage of the strategies that LSG tried to bring into play. Pandya had only conceded 16 off his first three overs when he was re-introduced into the attack in the 15th. He ended up being pulled over midwicket for a four by du Plessis, who also made room and hit a straight six in the same over. With Dinesh Karthik not having fared all that well against wrist spin, LSG kept an over of Bishnoi till late, bringing him on for the 18th over. But du Plessis negated that match-up by scoring three couples and two fours to leave the bowler with 0 for 47 from his four overs, 34 of those runs being scored by the RCB captain alone at a strike rate of 200.
Wickets early in the innings meant that du Plessis had to consolidate against the pacers in the first half. But he did pick up two boundaries each off Holder and Avesh Khan, along with a four apiece off Chameera and Marcus Stoinis. In total, du Plessis played 10 dots off the quicker bowlers, scoring his 45 runs against them at a strike rate of 132.35. It eventually balanced out for du Plessis with his overall strike rate of 150 ensuring that RCB ended up with a good total.
Despite Maxwell's departure with only two deliveries of spin bowled, du Plessis ensured that RCB did not miss the Australian's role in taking on spin, with the RCB skipper doing that job rather well in this game. And it was especially impressive considering that du Plessis numbers against spin since IPL 2018. In 38 innings before this game, he had been dismissed 14 times by spinners and had a middling strike rate of 117.05 against them. This was also the first instance of du Plessis scoring more than 50 against spin alone in an IPL innings and that he did on a pitch that wasn't the easiest to bat on, made the effort all the more special.
"If the spinners hit the hard lengths it was actually like a tennis-ball bounce. So it was quite hard to hit down the ground. So it was about trying to manoeuvre the ball. Obviously if you are able to hit with the spin then it was much easier. JSK247 Book And if the bowlers over-tossed then you had the opportunity to hit them down the ground but if they hit a good length it was very difficult to score. Until a little bit of sheen came on the wicket and it became a little bit easier towards the back end," said Mike Hesson about the challenge of facing spin.
While LSG employed two bowlers for the eight overs of spin, with a total of 76 runs coming off those overs, RCB had three spinners bowl eight overs between them. Shahbaz Ahmed, who was involved in a 70-run association with his captain, did a good job of restricting the LSG batters, conceding only 25 runs from his four overs. Wanindu Hasaranga did not have the best of days, going for 20 off his two overs but Glenn Maxwell masked that with 1 for 11 from his two overs, with the RCB spinners giving away 20 runs less than what LSG did with their slower bowlers.
"We felt if we hit hard lengths then it was difficult to score. We were able to control our length and if we did that - with both spin and pace - then we were going to be able to create some run-rate pressure. So it was all about lengths for us, in terms of our spinners bowling hard into the wicket and our seamers hitting that back of a length and trying to get guys hitting us down the ground off a good length," said Hesson about RCB's approach with the ball.
For LSG, the fourth wicket partnership worth 36 involving Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda was the highest in their innings. LSG too lost a couple of early wickets but unlike RCB, they did not have a batter who could bat deep on the day, and they eventually ended up well short of the finish line. KL Rahul, who complimented du Plessis for playing 'one of the best captain's innings', also acknowledged his team's shortcomings and said their inability to take a leaf out of the RCB skipper's innings made the difference in the end.
"We've all seen Faf playing over the years and he's a really good player - not just of spin but overall he's been really batting well in the IPL in the last couple of seasons. He played a wonderful innings, I don't think it was an easy wicket to bat on," said LSG skipper Rahul.
"But the way he constructed his innings was really, really good. (That's) something that we as a batting unit, one of us in the top three or four, had to do, had to play an innings like that where we batted deep and till the last over and the other batters could have batted around and that would have probably given us the best chance to win this game. But unfortunately we couldn't string in those partnerships. Online Betting Id It was a very good knock from Faf and being a captain, that's one of the best captain's innings that he could have played."
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